Seattle Tag

Are you a family caregiver for someone living with Parkinson’s Disease? Do you know about the “Caregivers Day Off” program? Caregiver’s Day Off, sponsored by the Washington Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, serves families coping with Parkinson’s in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Skagit, and Island counties. With A Little Help is proud to be one of three local home health agencies trusted to support and serve Parkinson’s family caregivers through the program which sponsors 20 hours of free professional care annually.
[caption id="attachment_1571" align="alignleft" width="170"]Shawn D'Amelio Shawn D'Amelio[/caption] With A Little Help’s Director of Business Development, Shawn D’Amelio, is serving as 2014 Conference Chair for the Washington Home Care Association (WAHCA) formerly known as Washington Private Duty Association (WAPDA). In her role D’Amelio will plan and organize the annual WAHCA conference, Blooming with the Boomers, September 16 and 17, 2014 at the Lynnwood Convention Center. “I’m excited to serve as Conference Chair,” D’Amelio said. “Serving in this role is a wonderful learning opportunity for me and I have been blessed with a Conference Committee that brings a great deal of knowledge about home care and our industry as a whole.” The Washington Home Care Association (WAHCA) is a 9 year old organization active in education, support and advocacy for best practices and industry standards that govern businesses providing Private Duty Home Care in Washington State. WAHCA member agencies such as With A Little Help are all licensed by the Washington State Department of Health. Their caregiving teams pass background checks and are licensed, bonded, trained and supervised.
[caption id="attachment_1533" align="alignleft" width="175"]Linda at her first art exhibit Linda at her first art exhibit[/caption] Linda’s interest in working with elders grew from experiences in family caregiving first with her courageous, lonely, loving grandmother and later her parents. During the five years that she’s shared her skills through With A Little Help she says she most enjoys “being a support to families.” Her own experience caring for parents helps her interact with client families. “I am able to offer a calm, neutral, and supportive influence,” she explained. “It is very heart opening to see families connect and support each other in times of need. I believe our families are the main way we can work through our karma/life lessons and if we don’t heal our relationships with them, we have really missed a great opportunity. I encourage everyone to do this difficult work of healing relationships with their own families. How else can we have peace on earth?”
Music is all around us. We hear it in movies, at social gatherings, weddings and funerals, in stores and offices, and in our places of worship.  Whenever we encounter it our bodies react physiologically and our minds form associations. Because we’re all in contact with music and all experiencing its powerful effects, therapists have long suspected it could be used therapeutically. Music therapists began integrating music as a healing modality in the 1970’s but demonstrating its value took time. Today mounting research and case studies, and the advent of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and FMRI (Functional Magnetic Imaging), substantiate music as an effective therapy for stress and a variety of mental and physical health conditions including Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Tuesday May 6th was Seattle’s 4th annual GiveBIG day!  GiveBIG donations surpassed 2013 giving by over a million dollars thereby channeling strong support to Seattle’s non profits. In just 24 hours 64,000 people pledged online donations to over 1500 charitable organizations that shared a portion of matching funds. Senior Services won a "golden ticket" this year garnering an additional $1,000 from the pool of matching dollars!
“Something really exciting is emerging in the aging community,” NEST (North East Seattle Together) executive director, Judy Kinney said, brightening as she described NEST’s services for people aging in place and Seattle’s broader network of innovative aging support programs. “People in NEST are laying a path [for aging services] with the idea ‘let’s do this differently-something with a creative bent,’ she explained. NEST and the PNA Village, a similar program run by the Phinney Neighborhood Association, draw resources and modeling from a national movement of virtual retirement villages. NEST and PNA Village, like villages in communities across the nation, charge a modest annual fee in exchange for providing volunteer help with practical household needs, trusted professional referrals, and life enrichment activities that bond members.
This is the first in a new series of blogs about people in our community that inspire us to be active, healthy and engaged as we age. [caption id="attachment_1369" align="alignleft" width="225"]Jessie Strauss painting a habitat house Jessie Strauss painting a habitat house[/caption] Jessie Strauss led a satisfying and full professional and personal life up until her retirement and she had no intention of slowing down. Now in her 70’s she’s used that free time to touch the lives of people internationally with her commitment to Habitat For Humanity and the Guatemalan anti-poverty program Safe Passage while locally she continues energetic engagement with family and community. Her humanitarian contributions and vibrant living won her recognition in 2012 as Senior Services Inspiring Senior of the Month and, in 2013, as Outstanding Senior Volunteer of the Year for Washington State.
Smartphones, I Pads, Google Glasses….isn’t it time that we adapted today’s technological innovation to help us care for our elders? That’s the promise of telecare. The most popular telecare device, the push button pendant, debuted over 20 years ago and is still on the market. It’s sold in every color you can imagine by companies from Verizon to AARP.  It works but is limited by whether or not it’s worn when needed and is effective only when the wearer has the strength, coordination and coherence to push the button in emergency. Second and third generations of Telecare have advanced greatly and hope to solve those problems with smart technology that widens the net of caring support. With A Little Help debuted modern telecare technology in 2013 integrating it into some caregiving strategies. Is telecare right for your care plan?